What could make a sociopath happier than disrupting the world order, mercilessly killing folks by the thousands, indulging in unbridled megalomania – and winning. He won in Georgia. He won in Syria. He won in Chechnya. He won in the Crimea. He won in the Donbass. And he is winning in Ukraine.
Despite his madness, there is essentially no chance that he will be removed from power by the Russian people or his Kremlin cronies in the immediate future. Virtually no chance of an assassination by insiders or outsiders. No chance that his Kremlin lair will be attacked by the most powerful military forces in the history of the world – NATO, the European Union and the other democratic states. No fear that the United Nations will even boot him out of the Security Council. Pitiful.
Vladimir Putin has cowered the entire free world – and intimidated the great leaders of the west. He is bluffing them with the nuclear card. Pitiful.
Putin has been condemned by the diplomats in the strongest terms – murder, war criminal. He does not care. He and his country have suffered the strongest sanctions ever imposed on a nation. He does not care. His ambition is killing thousands of innocent civilians – men, women, and children. He does not care. His excessive optimism has resulted in battlefield defeats. He does not care. His flagship Moskva has been sunk to the bottom of the Black Sea with as many as 400 Russian sailors killed. He does not care. The war has cost the lives or more than 40,000 of his own young men – and nine generals, so far. He does not care. He has become a pariah among most of the world leaders. He does not care.
Putin is not a unique character in human history. Maniacal empire builders have risen from every part of the earth. Genghis Kahn, Attila, Cyrus II, Alexander the Great, Caesar, Rameses, Napoleon, and by far not least, Adolph Hitler. In fact, Putin is arguably more like Hitler than any of the others. Or maybe Stalin. Or maybe both.
There is one thing to remember about the empire builders of history. They do not stop the expansion, the warring, the killing and the pillaging on their own. They had to be defeated in battle. They had to die – of natural causes, assassinations, or in battle.
Virtually every observer – especially those who know Putin – says he will not respond to anything but force. He must be defeated. Stalemates are not defeats. They are just pauses. Concessions will never appease him. Agreements will never be obeyed.
Putin wants to subjugate Ukraine. He wants to return eastern Europe to the family of Soviet nations. His ambitions will never be contained.
No matter how WE claim to be hurting Putin, he goes to bed every night mockingly laughing at the forces aligned against him – and their inability to stop him. He is a pipsqueak tyrant from a second-rate nation who has been dominating the self-proclaimed most powerful nations in the history of the world for years.
President Biden was correct when he said Putin cannot be allowed to remain in office. But then true to the diplomatic zeitgeist, he had to say he did not mean it. It was one statement close to a full apology to Putin. The main thrust of the west has been to not provoke Putin no matter how much he provokes and disrupts the world.
Putin stands alone against a world divided between nations that will not do enough and nations that will not do anything to stop the Madman of Moscow.
So, there ‘tis.